W. Cross Country: Fifth place finish for Falcons

Karina Sanchez (55) helped Cerritos place sixth at the state championships.
Karina Sanchez (55) helped Cerritos place sixth at the state championships.

In their first meet of the season, the Cerritos College women's cross country team took fifth place out of 16 colleges at the Mark Covert Invitationals, which was host by Cal State Fullerton and held at Carbon Canyon Park in Brea on Saturday. The Falcons were bested by four four-year colleges, while they finished ahead of the six other community colleges that competed. Cerritos finished with 177 team points, and were edged for fourth place by the University of San Diego, who had 170 team points, with Loyola Marymount University winning the team title with 33 points. Cerritos will now compete in the Palomar Invitational on Saturday, which will be held at Guajome Park in Oceanside. The team finished ahead of defending state champion and pre-season #1-ranked Glendale College.

Sophomore Julia Plecnik (St. Joseph HS) was the first Falcon to complete the 5K race, as she was clocked in 19:43.3, which was good enough for 30th place out of 163 runners and the fourth best time for a community college runner. Successfully bunching their runners, Cerritos saw their next four finishers cross the finish line within :37 seconds of Plecnik to help them come in fifth place as a team.

Freshman Kathia Avila (Cerritos HS) placed 41st overall with a time of 20:02.1, while freshman Kaela Crone (Kennedy HS) also barely missed breaking the 20:00 minute mark, as she finished in 20:04.6, good for 43rd place. Rounding out the top five runners were sophomores Karina Sanchez (Warren HS) and Maira Solis (Roosevelt HS), who finished in 20:19.6 (48th place) and 20:25.8 (55th place), respectively.

A total of 11 runners competed on the day, as freshman Patsy Hurley (Mark Keppel HS; 73rd place; 20:48.7), freshman Natalie Leonarduzzi (Marshall HS; 82nd place; 20:58.2) and freshman Isabel Medina (Paramount HS; 88th place; 21:03.9) competing in their first collegiate race.